Spooky Good Tips for a Safe Halloween
Two millennia ago, the Celtics celebrated the close of the harvest and the beginning of the winter season by lighting bonfires and dressing in costumes to ward off restless spirits. These festivals were about giving thanks for their crops, honoring their dead, and preparing themselves for the coming winter.
In our day, we welcome all sorts of ghosts, ghouls, and monsters that appear on our doorsteps every October 31, while bonfires have generally been replaced by jack-o-lantern candles. Our holiday may look different from that of our Celtic predecessors, but the common goal of enjoying a safe Halloween is stronger than ever.
Like all great holidays, Halloween has something for people of all ages. As adults, we attend movie marathons and costumed mixers, while children celebrate in classrooms and block parties. Of course, the main event is undoubtedly trick-or-treating.
Kids may run into the night with reckless abandon, and keeping trick-or-treating safely can be a headache for parents. There are a few key tips to bear in mind when preparing yourself or your children for a night of doorbells and knocking.
1. Avoid dark areas
Shadowy streets and creepy houses might feel appropriate for the holiday, but a safe Halloween is spent in well-lighted areas. Be sure to tell your kids to only approach houses that have lights on indoors, and avoid going down dark private driveways. Similarly, if you want to welcome trick-or-treaters, make sure the path to your door is well-lit and free of debris.
2. Stay in groups
There is strength in numbers and every trick-or-treater should be making the rounds with at least a few companions. Not only can the group keep an eye on each other, but bigger groups are more easily seen and avoided by cars driving at night.
3. Know your neighbors
Trick-or-treating safely is best achieved in well-known areas. Your kids should know at least a few neighbors on every street they walk down. Similarly, parents can set boundaries where a specific neighbor’s home represents the end point where their kids should come home.
4. Limit driving
Halloween is full of adults and kids going every which way as soon as the sun goes down. If driving is a must, be sure to observe all speed limits and assume that people are on every corner. According to the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to be struck by a car and killed on Halloween night, than on any other night of the year.
Excited kids who have been eating candy all night or who are worried about problems with their Halloween costume aren’t always thinking about trick-or-treating safety, so drivers and other adults need to be extra cautious.
Halloween Costumes for a Safe Halloween
Costumes and trick-or-treating go together like dry ice and witches brew, but even these fun staples can disrupt a safe Halloween night if certain aspects are overlooked. When planning what you and your children will be wearing, keep these safety tips in mind.
1. Shop for fire-retardant materials
If you plan on making your own Halloween costumes this year, consider using flame-resistant materials, like polyester or nylon. If you purchase a pre-made costume, it will say if it is flameproof on the tag.
2. Embrace the glow
Many problems caused by Halloween costumes are due to dark colors making them hard to see. Placing reflective tape or glow sticks somewhere on the costume may help drivers and other pedestrians see trick-or-treaters more clearly to prevent accidents.
3. Avoid loose clothing
Because Halloween is an active holiday, it is very easy to undo the safety of trick-or-treating by tripping over loose clothing. Be sure that your costumes aren’t obstructing how you walk, run, or maneuver stairs. This is especially important in case of an emergency; disasters can often come with little or no warning, and will require full mobility to stay safe until response services like EnviroServe can arrive.
4. Be careful with accessories
If kids wish to wear their costumes to school, they are likely instructed to leave any accessories like laser swords and sports balls at home. This would be a wise policy to adopt to avoid any long-term problems with your Halloween costume. Accessories cause unnecessary distractions and can often hurt others if used incorrectly, which is more likely to happen the longer the night goes on.
No matter how you’ll be celebrating, a safe Halloween is important to everyone. At EnviroServe, we know that following the best safety practices keeps us ready and able to be where we’re needed, when we’re needed. Following these tips, and enjoying trick-or-treating safely, will keep Halloween a fun experience each and every year.